EPL: Calvert-Lewin hits double as Everton edges past Fulham

Everton beats Fulham 3-2 to return to winning ways in the Premier League.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates after scoring Everton's first goal, at Craven Cottage. - AP

In-form striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted a brace and midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure scored his first goal for Everton as it beat Fulham 3-2 to return to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday.

MATCH CENTRE

Brazilian forward Richarlison, returning from a three-match ban, picked up a loose ball and ran wide to cross for Calvert-Lewin who tapped in his ninth league goal of the campaign 42 seconds into the contest.

Fulham hit back through Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s neat finish on 15 minutes but Everton continued to threaten and was unlucky not go ahead 2-1 as Calvert-Lewin’s effort was chalked off for offside and Richarlison’s low shot was pushed away.

The visitor carved Fulham open again as Alex Iwobi switched play from the right and James Rodriguez fed Lucas Digne, who produced a first-time ball for Calvert-Lewin to stroke in and top the season’s scoring charts.

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Digne looked lively in an advanced role and was involved in Everton’s third, firing in a cross for Doucoure to head home in the 35th minute and open his Toffees account after joining from Watford in the close season.

Fulham pulled one back shortly after Ivan Cavaleiro slipped and missed a penalty for it in the second half, as substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek found the net via a deflection off Everton defender Yerry Mina to ensure a tight finish.

Carlo Ancelotti: Everton must shore up its defence

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said the team has to plug its leaky defence after snapping a run of three straight defeats on Sunday.

Everton last kept a clean sheet in the league on the opening day when it beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 and it has conceded 16 goals in eight games since.

It has the worst defensive record alongside local rival and defending champion Liverpool, which has a game in hand and hosts Leicester City later on Sunday, among the top 10 clubs in the competition this season.

“We have to improve for sure,” Ancelotti told the BBC. “We were not so compact, we were not so close with the line. We have time to work this week on this.”

Ancelotti, who deployed a three-man defence featuring Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey, said he was pleased that the team could hold on to its advantage towards the end.

“We lost energy and had tired players. I changed to put more fresh legs on the pitch, but we lost a bit of quality and thought to only defend the result,” the Italian said.

“At the end, it went well. It was the most important part of the game to be back to winning ways.”

Victory lifted Everton to sixth in the table. It hosts Leeds United in the league next Saturday.

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